Tales from the graaaaaave …

In uh, Celebration of the end of my tenure (3 years, 10 months and 11 days …) at an UNDISCLOSED call centre I have decided to share some of my favourite calls!

Chronologically, from the earliest to the most recent.

me : call centre uber-girl
CG : crotchety gentleman

me : welcome to (undisclosed paint company) you’re speaking with Sarah
CG : uhh yes the first sunday of the month- you can take paint in to the store?
me : hm sir you’d be best to check with the store as you’ve reached the after hours for the technical advice li–
CG : what? why can’t you tell me! you SHOULD KNOW. The ALBANY store – you take paint in on the first sunday of the month … ???
me : well we are here to pass on the contact details of stores, and their hours.
CG : ALBANY. the ALBANY store. we want to take the paint in.
me : okay the number is ***-**** … but i don’t think you can take the paint in there on the first sunday of the month-
CG : what are you saying !?! i thought you didn’t know !?!
me : i know the store hours SIR and the albany store is always closed on sundays
CG : …. oh. lets see here … ohhh WAIRAU PARK. it IS useful talking to you then !!
me : yes sir, have a nice day *headdesk*

The joys of having a common name:
Me : (growling) helloo?
MANAGER : Hi Sarah! wondering if you’d be interested in some extra hours today??
Me : uh john ? i’m in Auckland
MANAGER : Oh! guess you wouldn’t be interested then.
Me : yea, not until after the 3rd (when i get back)
MANAGER : … bu- i thought you’d been put on roster??
Me : (light dawning) oh, i think you’ve got the wrong Sarah, John, this is Sarah-Rose
MANAGER : Oh no blah blah blah dreadfully sorry.

people amuse me. they amuse me in a very aggravating way.
me : could i have the name of the recipient?
caller : ay?
me : the name of the recipient?
caller : is that where i wanna send it?
me : no, it’s the name of the person who is recieving the bouquet
caller : that’s what I said *click*

uh no, you said WHERE, i asked for WHO.

caller : i’d like to book in for the 12 … 12 pm session … 12 pm HA! that means midnight!!
me : well, no sir, 12am is midnight, 12 pm is noon
caller : hrmpf. we’ll have to disagree on that one
me : sure

I just spoke to a most delightful lady who railed at me because I dared imply (And how is that spelled?) that there was more than one spelling to the surname pronounced SM-EYE-TH. Like Smithe and Smyth and Smythe.
I take over a hundred calls each day, I’ve had it spelled to me each and every way. Names which are homonymous are not neccessarily spelled the same, such as Mckay/Mckie.
Then of course, she pointed out to me in her most disdainful tone that there is a difference between spelling and ProNOUNCE-iation. ha.

A gentleman just called up the WEATHER SERVICE and wanted to know if there was DEFINITELY going to be no rain in christchurch tomorrow.
I told him that definitely is an interesting term to be used with meterology.

me : I’m sorry sir, we don’t offer that service through this line but I can give you your local number if you’d like …
caller : okay, great!
me : ……….. I’ll need your location sir
caller : (here is usually inserted a snort of derision) oh, WELL it’s ********

me : and can i have your surname please?
caller : uh …. uh …. is that your last name?
TWICE. This has happened TWICE in ONE day.

me : can i have your address?
caller : is that your phone number ?
but that kid sounded 4 and adorable.

my boss just rang my phone (an internal call, at work)
boss : did i call you or did you call me?
me : … uh you called me …
boss : oh. i must have pushed a button … there’s some kind of call waiting on your phone

I just had a lady go OFF at me because she couldn’t understand me. Apparently my “stupid british accent” was too strong for her to understand. This is after she has commented at least THREE times on how bad the line was.
Perhaps it could be the incredible buzzing and distortion on the line that is making it hard for you to understand me ???

me : welcome to ****** ****** ***********, you’re speaking with Sarah
caller : hi, Michelle was it?

A caller (from the company who is our tech support for like, EVERYTHING WE USE HERE) just thought that I wouldn’t know how to spell his company name, or his name, but that I would magically know that he was calling from Auckland.
The worst thing?
His name was BEN.

me : Welcome to the ********** of *********** recruitment line, you’re speaking with Sarah.
caller : Yes, Hi, I’m calling about the Magna Pacific Leather Bag …
me : I’m sorry? you’ve reached the ********** of *********** recruitment line, I think you have the wron-
caller : no, this is the number I’ve called for the Magna Pacific Leather Bag.
me : well, I’m sorry, all we can do on this line is have the ********** of *********** recruitment pack sent out.
caller : no dear, this IS the number to call to get this Magna Pacific Leather Bag so you’r going to-
me : No Ma’am I’m sorry but you really have reached the ********** of *********** recruitment line
caller : this is 0800 **1 **2
me : no ma’am this is 0800 **1 **1 (smirk)
caller : oh – (click)

caller : hey, uhm, I’m filling out this application and it says that I need a Class B drivers Licence … but uh what if I don’t have a licence?
me : well, if it says you need a Class B Licence, (pause) then you need a Class B Licence
caller : oh aye?
me : yea, sorry.

Me : Thanks for calling ****** ****** ***********, you’re speaking with Sarah
Caller : Hi, Where are you? Where is your shop?
Me : uh, I’m in Wellington, Sir, our technicians are all over the country but they work oout of their vans.
Caller : So you don’t have a shop there?
Me : No, just the office here, our techs work out of their vans.
Caller : oh but I’m looking to get some roller wheels …
Me : Okay, well I can pass a message on to our technician in your area-
Caller : and I can go to his shop?
Me : No, sir. He works out of his van, he doesn’t have a shop.
Caller : oh okay. Can I call him? What is his number?
Me : it is 0274 *** ***
Caller : oh, he doesn’t have a landline?
Me : No sir, he works out of his Van.
Caller : oh okay, don’t worry about it then. [click]
and then my head exploded.

Me : welcome to ****** ****** ***********, you’re speaking with Sarah
Caller : oh yes, hi, I have a commercial aluminium window that has broken struts
Me : okay, well I can have the local tech give you a call and arrange to do that repair for you sir,
Caller : right well we’re just down on the waterfront there.
Me: oh we’re a nationwide company sir so which waterfront?
Caller : aye?
Me : the waterfront of which city sir? Auckland, Wellington, …
Caller : Auckland, where are you?
Me : Wellington, sir, so-
Caller : oh Telling-Bone aye? you speak english down there?
Me : …… excuse m-
Caller : you sound like you speak english ok heh heh heh
Me : oh-kay, well-
Caller : no no don’t mind me, I’m just being rude, it’s my right
Me : [deepening my voice dramatically] yes sir, you’re allowed to be rude and I’m allowed to be annoyed. now can I-
Caller : ho ho! one all! good on ya,
Me : Can I get your name sir?
Caller : don’t call me sir, that sets me off. Trevor ***
Me : thank you Trevor, can I get your address …
And the rest of the call was actually really nice. He stopped being annoying and confrontational and became almost jovial, wishing me a very good day at the end.

caller : the company name is ****** Pro-nounce-iation *****
me : I’m sorry?
caller : ****** ProNOUNCEiation ****
me : ****** … pro NOUNCE iation?
caller : yes.
me : … and how are you spelling that?
caller : P-R-O-N-U-N-C-I-A-T-I-O-N
And then my head exploded.

Me : Good morning *******, Sarah-Rose speaking
Caller : Ah yes, can I just go through to the extension please?
Me : sorry, which extension were you after?
Caller : no no I want to go through the extension!
Me : yes, but WHICH extension
Caller : oh, just a second
rustle rustle rustle … rustle rustle rustle … rustle rustle
Caller : it’s ****

in the middle of a call.
Me : And what title do you go by?
Caller : huh? oh! hah, I don’t know, Bitch? ha
Me : uh
Caller : hah, no, uh Mrs.
Me : Hah, okay, thank you.
I was actually speechless!

After deciding that I will organise for an information pack to be sent to him :
Caller : Do you want the first name first or the second name first?
Me : First name first please sir!
Caller : Okay, Smith. S-M-I-T-H
Me : … Okay and your surname?
Caller : That was the surname. And the first name is John. J-O-H-N
It’s times like these that my head and hand feel magnetised.

Easiest call ever!
caller : so this part where it says Programme code? is that were I put the programme code?
me : yes
caller : and where it says Course name? is that were I put the course name?
me : … yes.
caller : cool thanks
me : … you’re welcome …

Co-worker : Desiree, that’s such a stripper name
Me : … That’s my mother’s name!
Co-Worker : Oh … no! Really?
Me : yes! really! that’s never happened to me in real life before.

Caller : so my name is Cassidy Ray
Me : okay … Cassidy Ray …
Caller : No no that’s Cassidy Rain
Me : Cassidy Rain? right.
Caller : And that’s all one name. My surname is ****
Me : Cassidy-Rain? ****?
Caller : And Cassidy’s with a K.
Me (incredulous) : Kassidy-Rain? okay …

Small Victories
talking to a lovely lady regarding a booking for her husband. She gives his surname as Baumgarten and I spell it to her and she replies yes and we move on to the next part of the conversation when I hear in the background a man with an american accent start yelling at her.
Mr Baumgarten : NO! You have to SPELL IT TO HER. B as in BOY, A as in APPLE …
the phone goes silent and then he’s on the line with me. And he’s still yelling.
Mr Baumgarten : My Surname is B as in BOY-
Me : Yes sir, I’m aware of that. I spelt it out to the lady I was just speaking to and she confirmed that it was correct.
Mr Baumgarten : Oh. Well.
And he proceeded to be completely horrible for the rest of the call but I still felt a little vindicated.

Me: Welcome to ********, you’re speaking with Sarah
Caller: Marmite Marmite Marmite
Me: What the ….

Interesting Names
(I always forget to note these down)

Sally Garden

Mr. A. Pauling
Nathanial Fairweather

Names I have been called


As of 2:30pm 3:30pm* I am now officially unemployed.
For the first time since I was … 16? fun.
It also makes the trip seem very very close.

*heee! I covered for someone on my last day.

Days to go
Finishing work 0 days
Leaving Wellington 10 days
Leaving New Zealand 17 days
Arriving Bangkok 31 days
Arriving London 50 days

Caller : Thanks Sandra! oops! I mean Sharon, sorry.
Me (Sarah) : … That’s fine. Thank you.

Happy Easter, Baby! (Giant Head)


A drawing of me-as-a-baby with an easter bunny.

It was a present, given to my mother by a student of hers when I was still that small.
She (the student) then recognised me when I was 7 and again at 9, nice to know my face matured from that of a two-year-old.

p.s. I swear, I am smiling in that photo.
p.p.s. I still don’t celebrate easter (zombie jesus!) but I enjoy the drawing.